Last weekend, my boyfriend, Michael, and I woke up early on Saturday morning and headed to Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington to check out their new Aerial Park. I was looking forward to it all week, as I love any opportunity to visit the Columbia River Gorge. I had never stayed at Skamania Lodge and had heard wonderful things about this hotel. Skamania Lodge is 45 miles east of Portland, Oregon and the one hour drive on Highway 84, alongside the Columbia River is breathtaking. We arrived a little before 10:30 am on what appeared to be a clear, rain-free morning. Shayne Large, the designer of Skamania Lodge Aerial Park, introduced us to Greg, our guide, and we were on our way. The park is located right across the entrance to the lodge and next to the hotel’s zip lines. At first I was a little bummed we hadn’t chosen to zip line, but my mood completely changed after an hour or so in the Aerial Park. Although Skamania’s zip lines are more popular and well known, I have a feeling next spring the aerial park will be the thing to do because it is such a good time!
I was definitely intimidated by the challenges looming above. I’m not very afraid of heights (I have been sky diving and zip lining many times) but obstacle courses in the air give me the shakes from time to time so I didn’t know what to expect. Greg explained that the park is self-guided, which makes the experience so much more enjoyable. We used our two “click its,” which attach to the wires of the park and allow you to move from element to element. If one click it is unattached, the other will not come off the wire so there is no need to fear that you will accidentally detach from the course and fall to the ground!
The elements, as the lodge refers to them, progress in levels of difficulty. By the end of the course you feel like a fearless pro. Greg was never far away and offered tips for how to best approach certain elements. The greenery and serenity surrounding the course wash away any nervousness or fear of heights. The elements are incredibly unique and each one brings its own challenges, pushing you to get creative as to how you are going to get from one platform to the other.
My personal favorites were the two most challenging ones: the unstable wood chips and swinging logs. But the best part of the aerial park is probably the ladder, which allows participants to climb up to 60 feet from the ground and boasts a spectacular view from above Skamania Lodge looking out on the Gorge. It’s the perfect place for a quick selfie and to pause to take in the beauty of this special place.
We completely lucked out weather-wise because as soon as we finished repeating our favorite elements, it started to rain as it often does in the Pacific Northwest in October. I highly recommend that anyone who is looking for an adrenalin-filled challenge to check out this park! Zip lining is great, but this aerial park offers something completely different and refreshing, it’s a personalized experience for everyone who tries it.
Need to know:
The cost of the aerial park is $69 per person, plus tax. There are 19 platforms and 22 elements in the tree-lined aerial park at Skamania Lodge. Plans are in the works to expand the Aerial Park and take it to an even higher level. Per the website, participants must be at least 6 years old and 4 feet tall. Children under 8 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
I’d recommend wearing athletic clothing for this aerial experience because some elements require interesting maneuvers of your body. Allow two hours to complete your outdoor adventure. For additional insider tips follow Nancy D. Brown on Instagram and Twitter @Nancydbrown and @SkamaniaLodge on Twitter and Instagram. Skamania Lodge is a member of Destination Hotels.
If You Go:
Skamania Lodge Aerial Park (509) 427-0202
1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way
Stevenson, Washington 98648
Skamania Lodge Aerial Park review written by Kendall C. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Kendall received complimentary admission to the park from Skamania Lodge for review purposes. All views are the opinion of the author, your experience may differ.